Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day, 2009

When you go home,
Tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow,
We gave our today.
Inscription, British War Memorial, Kohima, India.(attributed to John Maxwell Edmonds, Times Literary Supplement[London], 4 July 1918)

As our soldiers, sailors and aviators serve and struggle for us throughout the world, particularly today in Iraq and Afghanistan, pause in your business for a moment, and think of them, and of our veterans who have already served. Remember those who are not with us today, because they made the ultimate sacrifice. The terrible events of the past week at Fort Hood make it especially important for us to reflect gratefully on all they have given.

In particular, I am remembering in my own prayers today three casualties of the Battle of Midway (4 June 1942). Wesley F. Osmus, Ensign USNR, (USS Yorktown), Frank W. O’Flaherty, Ensign USNR (USS Enterprise), and Bruno P. Gaido (Aviation Machinist's Mate (1st Class) -- O'Flaherty's gunner). All were aviators shot down and captured during the attacks on the Japanese fleet, and murdered by their captors. They faced their fates alone, but they are never forgotten.

Went the day well ?
We died and never knew.
But, well or ill, Freedom, we died for you

John Maxwell Edmonds, Times [London], 6 February 1918.

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